COVID-19 and your visit to Banff National Park
Starting June 1, some Parks Canada places will begin to offer limited access and services while maintaining physical distancing measures. Information will be updated regularly.
Only places and activities where health and safety risks can be managed will be available for visitation. We are asking visitors to be cautious and conservative in their use of these places, to observe travel restrictions, respect closures, follow the guidance of public health experts, and to make every effort to keep one another safe.
Opening details will differ across the country. Please check the Parks Canada national information portal dedicated to COVID-19 for regular updates.
Parks Canada and COVID-19 (updated May 27, 2020)
The health and safety of Canadians, visitors and Parks Canada team members is our top priority.
Being outdoors and in nature brings a number of health and wellness benefits., It is important that people have access to natural spaces where they can go to get exercise and fresh air in settings that facilitate physical distancing.
On June 1, 2020, Parks Canada will begin a safe, gradual opening of some outdoor locations in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.
- Starting June 1, visitors will be permitted to access some trails, day use areas, and green spaces at some locations. Until then, all suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities announced in March remain in place.
- For their own safety, visitors should not try to access locations that are closed.
- All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events will be prohibited until further notice. All existing reservations set to take place prior to June 21, 2020, will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full.
- Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places will remain open.
Important information about your visit to Banff National Park
To help Canadians gain access to the health and wellness benefits that come from being outdoors and in nature, a number of Parks Canada places will be gradually restoring visitor access and services. Beginning June 1, 2020, visitors will be welcomed back to Banff National Park with safety being a priority. Access will be focused on the resumption of autonomous day use of trails, grounds, and other outdoor settings and include the continuation of critical services and the gradual resumption of some key field-based ecological and cultural protection activities.
To ensure the safety of visitors, residents and staff, Parks Canada is taking a phased approach to restoring access to the park. In doing so, physical distancing for the public remains a critical requirement in all areas of the park. While some of the restrictions and closures implemented in the park to date as a result of Covid-19 have been lifted, others will remain in effect at this time.
What’s open (updated May 26, 2020)
Beginning June 1, 2020, the following services and activities are available in Banff National Park:
Motor vehicle access
Visitors can enjoy a scenic drive through the park and access many of the trails and day use areas as the suspension of motor vehicle access on secondary roads has now been lifted with the exception on the Bow Valley Parkway east of Castle junction and Tunnel Mountain Drive. Vehicle parking is limited to designated areas only. Signage and monitoring will be used throughout the park to inform the public of parking restrictions and encourage compliance. Roadside parking is prohibited.
Check BanffNow for up to date information.
Open roads and parking areas
|Bow Valley Parkway||
|Fairmont Banff Golf Course Road||
|Minnewanka Loop Road||
|Tunnel Mountain Road||
|Mountain Avenue parking areas||
|Bourgeau, Redearth, Carrot Creek Parking Areas||
Banff National Park East gate
The Banff East Gates will be open. Parks Canada staff will be available to provide information about services currently available to visitors. Fee collection will resume when it is safe to do so. For more information on passes and fees, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page
Day use areas
Day use areas in the park, including those in the Banff Townsite, Lake Minnewanka and along the Icefields Parkway are open with some restrictions. Kitchen shelters (where applicable) will be closed.
Open day use areas
|Day Use Area||Status|
|Lake Minnewanka day use area||
|Lake Minnewanka loop||
|TCH and Hwy 93 South trailheads and day use areas||
|Johnston Canyon trail and day use area||
|Lake Louise Day use area||
|Bow Lake Day use area||
Hiking and cycling trails
Hiking and cycling trails in Banff National Park are open for day use. Due to the continued closure of the east section of the Bow Valley Parkway, access to Johnston Canyon Trail will only be available to those who bike or hike the road. Please see the Trail Conditions report for more information.
Once safety measures are in place, one lane of the Lake Minnewanka Loop will be set aside for cyclists, and vehicles will be limited to driving one-way (counter clockwise).
While on the trails, please behave responsibly and practice physical distancing. Where possible, create two metres distance between you and other people by stepping to the side and not following directly behind the person or group in front of you. Safety is a shared responsibility. Let’s work together to keep Banff National Park safe
Public washroom facilities
Public washroom facilities are open throughout the park
Visitor information centres
The Banff and Lake Louise Visitor Centres are open for phone and email inquiries only. Please call +1 (403) 762-1550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information
Village of Lake Louise
- Parks Canada asks visitors to practice safe physical distancing when visiting the Village of Lake Louise.
- Parking restrictions may be implemented based on traffic and visitor volume to help enable safe physical distancing.
- Traffic flaggers will be present throughout the summer to help facilitate the safe and smooth flow of traffic. Please respect these workers and help keep them safe.
- There are a number of tourism businesses and operations in the Lake Louise area. These operators are valued partners and provide important services to visitors. Visitors should contact them directly before visiting to ensure there has been no change to their services.
Lake Louise lakeshore
- Parking lot capacity will be monitored and may be limited by traffic flaggers. Please respect these workers and help keep them safe.
- Parks Canada asks visitors to practice safe physical distancing when enjoying the Lake Louise Lakeshore and day use area.
- All day use areas that are accessible based on road and avalanche conditions will open June 1, 2020.
- Parking lots and trailheads will open. Capacity may be restricted to help enable physical distancing measures.
- Hiking trails will open for visitors.
- All washrooms that are accessible based on road and avalanche conditions will open June 1, 2020.
What’s closed (updated May 26, 2020)
On June 1, 2020, the following services and activities remain closed in Banff National Park:
Motor vehicle access
The Bow Valley Parkway east of Castle Junction remains closed to vehicle access.
The Moraine Lake Road remains closed due to seasonal conditions
Sunshine Road will reopen June 21
Vehicles will be limited to driving one-way (counter clockwise) on the Lake Minnewanka Road.
Closed roads and parking areas
|Bow Valley Parkway||
|Tunnel Mountain Drive||
|Moraine Lake Road||
|Peyto Lake day use area parking||
Day use areas
All picnic and kitchen shelters at day use areas are closed.
The Peyto Lake day use area is closed due to construction
All campgrounds and camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21
The Banff Upper Hot Springs remains closed until further notice
National Historic Sites
The Banff Park Museum remains closed until further notice
The Cave and Basin remains closed until further notice
Banff visitor information centre
The Banff visitor information centre remains closed to in person visits. For park information please call +1 (403) 762-1550 or email email@example.com
Lake Louise visitor centre and Niblock gate
- The Lake Louise visitor centre, Niblock gate and David Thompson gate remain closed.
- Please reach out to our Visitor Centre staff for trip planning questions and to find out more information regarding Parks Canada’s phased reopening over social media: https://www.facebook.com/YohoNP/
- Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and use the Parks Canada website for current facility openings and trail conditions.
- Parks passes can be purchased online through the Parks Canada website prior to your visit. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/admission
- Moraine Lake Road is currently closed to vehicle traffic due to regular seasonal closure. It is inaccessible to visitors at this time.
- Please continue to check our website and social media for updates regarding Parks Canada’s phased approach to reopening Parks Canada locations and for the lifting of seasonal closures.
Lake Louise and Moraine Lake shuttle reservations
Reservations for Parks Canada shuttles to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, which were scheduled to launch on April 1, 2020, have been temporarily suspended. Details on shuttle reservations and operations for the 2020 season will be released as they become available.
Your safety when visiting
- Parks Canada is asking Canadians to stay home and support the national effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Keep a healthy space of 2 metres between you and others.
- Be extra cautious when engaging in any activities to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.
- Leave no trace when you visit outdoor spaces. Please take all your garbage with you and help keep these places clean.
- Abide by all travel advisories and area closures.
Bears are out of hibernation. If you’re out on the trails, make sure to stay alert, make noise and carry bear spray.
This is an evolving situation. For more information visit the Public Health Agency of Canada Coronavirus disease page, the Alberta Health Services Coronavirus disease page and the Town of Banff Coronavirus disease page.
Parks Canada is working with our partners to keep visitors and residents informed and safe.
For the most up to date information, visit: